SIT probing IMA scandal arrests senior IAS officer on graft charges

  • The arrested officer is B.M. Vijay Shankar, the deputy commissioner of Bengauru urban district
  • The IAS officer had allegedly taken the bribe to give a favourable report on the company, which was seeking fresh funds

Bengaluru: The special investigation team (SIT) set up to probe the multi-crore scandal involving the IMA group of companies on Monday arrested B.M. Vijay Shankar, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Bengaluru Urban, for his alleged role in the scam.

Shankar, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was arrested as he is suspected to have taken a 1.5 crore bribe from Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the main accused in the scam who allegedly duped thousands of investors of at least 700 crore.

Shankar’s arrest adds to the complex case against the Bengaluru-based company whose founder has been absconding since early June.

The SIT, in a statement on Monday, said that Shankar had allegedly taken the bribe to give a favourable report to Khan who was seeking fresh funds from a non-banking financial companies (NBFC) to keep his business afloat.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), among other agencies, is also probing the case that has seen the names of prominent politicians, bureaucrats and other top officials tumble out during investigation.

Khan, on 23 June, had released a video from an undisclosed location in which he claimed that his life was under threat by the same people who had duped him and ended his business.

He had claimed that he wanted to return to India and submit a list to the law enforcement authorities

In a video statement, Khan said he was willing to return to India and make public a list of names involved in the scandal that includes politicians. He did not disclose his current location claiming threats to his life.

“There were very big people behind this company and if I take their names now, they will find and kill my family," he said.

Incumbent Congress minister Zameer Ahmed Khan is being probed by the ED for his alleged role in the scandal while Khan himself had named another senior leader R.Roshan Baig for having taken large sums of money from IMA.

Khan had also accused senior Congress leader K. Rahman Khan and Janata Dal (Secular) legislator T. Sharavana among others of running a campaign to end the company.

In the video, Khan had claimed that one IAS officer had demanded a bribe of 10 crore for issuing favourable reports that would help the company raise fresh funds. But since there was a delay in delivering the funds, the official had declined to help, leading to the collapse of the company, which claims to be in business since 2006.